William D. Kickham
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Involuntary Manslaughter

Crime scene tapeMassachusetts Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

Even though they are governed by the same statute, by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13, Involuntary manslaughter is quite different from Voluntary Manslaughter. Involuntary Manslaughter is defined as: 1) An unlawful killing that was unintentionally caused as the result of wanton or reckless conduct that a defendant engaged in; or 2) An unlawful killing that resulted during the commission of a dangerous battery by a defendant. In the legal context, “unintentionally” means that while the defendant did intend to commit the act that ultimately caused the death of the victim, the defendant did not intend to actually cause the death itself. “Unlawful” means there was no legal justification for the defendant’s actions. "Legal justification" refers to a set of circumstances or facts that could transform behavior typically deemed criminal under the law into non-criminal actions. An uncomplicated illustration of legal justification is self-defense or defending another person. Malice aforethought implies that the defendant intended to cause significant harm to the victim without any legal justification.

What is “wanton or reckless conduct”? Generally, it is conduct which creates a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another person. Some examples include operating a car or motor vehicle in a reckless manner (“chicken” racing,) operating a car while intoxicated, playing Russian roulette, as well as selling heroin. Driving a car negligently or irresponsibly (as opposed to wantonly or recklessly) won’t normally constitute manslaughter, but it can constitute motor vehicle homicide.

Involuntary manslaughter occurring during the commission of a battery takes place when the “touching” or contact by the defendant is so violent that serious and substantial harm is likely to result. It is some type of act that is obviously extremely dangerous, such that the defendant committing the battery knew or reasonably should have known would endanger human life. The best example is to think of someone striking someone in the chest or head with a club or baseball bat.)

In order to obtain a conviction of Involuntary Manslaughter, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following legal elements:

  1. That the defendant caused an unlawful, while unintentional, killing. In other words, there was no legal justification for the killing (such as self-defense,) and the defendant intended to commit the act or conduct that ultimately caused the death. However, the prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant intended to cause the death that resulted from his conduct;
  2. That the victim’s death was caused by wanton or reckless conduct, meaning that the defendant's actions created a high degree of likelihood that substantial and serious harm would result to another person; and
  3. The wanton or reckless conduct that the defendant engaged in, in fact caused the victim’s death.
Penalties For Conviction Of Involuntary Manslaughter

A defendant convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter faces imprisonment of up to 20 years in state prison. Note: State prison is not the same as a County Jail or a House of Correction, where more minor convicts are incarcerated. State prison is a much more severe environment. (Trust us, not a place you want to go.)

Make The Right Choice In Hiring Your Involuntary Manslaughter Defense Attorney

If you or someone you care about has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Massachusetts, click on the “Free Arrest Tip Sheet” display button on this page, or just click here. We will send you a FREE document listing the most important action steps that you need to take if you have either already been arrested, or if you are concerned that you may be arrested soon. This FREE, valuable document will help you to begin to take charge of this difficult situation.

Talent and Expertise Make The Difference

Charges like this are extremely serious. If you are convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter, you face up to 20 years in state prison. With this kind of drastic punishment in the picture, you need to secure the best legal talent that you can. The technical distinctions and subtleties between the offenses of Voluntary Manslaughter and Murder are not familiar to every criminal lawyer. It demands a high level of expertise and understanding. It requires an extremely experienced Massachusetts Involuntary Manslaughter defense lawyer to know how to successfully defend these cases. Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, and we’ll provide you with a free initial consultation. Or click here for a free consultation. Our defense team will tell you in plain English what the weak and strong points are in the prosecution’s case against you. We will do all this as part of a free initial consultation for 20-30 minutes.

Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062 or Ph.: (617) 285-3600 to start making this situation better than it is now.

Client Reviews
When I was arrested for DUI, I was absolutely terrified. Had it not been for you, I might have been convicted of something I was not at all guilty of. My work life, my family life, my reputation, all could have been destroyed. You stood by me like the legal version of a bodyguard - and because of you, I was found not guilty. G.M.
When we got the call that our son had been arrested and charged with rape, we almost fainted. We know our son. He is not violent; he has never abused anyone, let alone another girl… If not for you and your "take no prisoners" attitude, our son might have been convicted of a crime that would have sent him to state prison. As far as we're concerned, our son owes you his life, and we owe you the world. We will never forget you. A.H. and P.H.
I hired Mr. William D. Kickham for a very important legal issue and I was extremely satisfied by the results. His in depth knowledge about the matter and his intelligent thinking was extremely beneficial. He is really an expert. He was also very supportive and sensitive towards my concerns. It was great to have a lawyer of his capacity. Thanks William for all the Help. N.G.
Atty. Kickham defended me on a charge of raping my girlfriend, who made up the whole story out of revenge because I was interested in someone else. If it weren’t for Attorney Kickham proving me innocent, God knows what might have happened to me. Z.B.
Mr. Kickham represented me on a trumped-up charge of domestic violence. The prosecutor and police wouldn’t back down, even after my spouse told them it was all untrue. They insisted on taking me to trial, and Mr. Kickham never wavered. He was my legal bodyguard, and I was found not guilty. M.B.
Of the many talents Atty. Kickham has, two are these: 1) He is ten times as persuasive as the best lawyer you’ve seen in the movies; and 2) Nothing - but nothing - gets by him. The police arrested me on completely false drug charges, and after a heated courtroom battle, Atty. Kickham won the day. Trust me, it was no surprise. D.C.
Because I mildly disciplined my child for throwing a tantrum, I was actually charged with child abuse. It was horrifying. Atty. Kickham fought for me tooth and nail, until I was declared not guilty. One hell of a lawyer. D.D.
I complimented a co-worker on her looks and patted her on the back as I did so. Two hours later, the police showed up and accused me of indecent assault & battery. From the day I hired him, Atty. Kickham fought the DA’s office until the charges were dropped. If not for him, my life would have been ruined. A.K.